Skip to main content

Masu takes a back seat

In Estonia they are so familiar with the economic crisis, they have given it a nick-name: "Masu", which comes from Majandus Krisis- Economic Crisis. Headlines are full of the latest doings of this wayward creature: the latest fall in retail sales, the steady slowing of lending, the gradual deceleration of the economy. The Masu is developing its own personality: rather like a bear, damaging and clumsy though, rather than rapacious.

Today, however, the Masu is off the front pages and there is some better economic news: Estonia has joined the OECD, the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development.

"So what?" many will ask, not knowing what the OECD actually is.

The -now thirty-five member- body is essentially the club of wealthy and democratic states, committed to open government and open economies. For Estonia to be accepted as a member reflects a vote of confidence in the stability and prospects for the country. It also promotes them into a fairly exclusive club of Western markets that are automatically regarded as sound investments.

Mind you, several Estonian friends have said that they don't think it is such a great thing: after all, Greece was a founder member of the club. Certainly the Greek "Masu" seems to have much stronger claws than in Estonia. Nevertheless, even after a fall in numbers of about one third, there are still more Euro millionaires in Estonia than in Greece, which is ten times the population. Of course, that is simply according to the tax statistics.

I think that probably explains why Estonia's trajectory is so much more positive than that of Greece: there is simply a greater culture of honesty here. The Masu is beginning to look ever less threatening from the perspective of Tallinn- even with early Euro entry a prospect for next January.

In Athens, on the other hand...

Comments

Anonymous said…
Hi,

MaSu is MAjandus SUrutis, Economic Depression.

Popular posts from this blog

Cicero ReDux

By Special Request of Baroness Scott and Mark Valladares... Cicero's Songs returns: bigger, longer and uncut.
October 1st marked the half way point of the Estonian Presidency of the European Union.  Perhaps for many people such an anniversary is of passing interest at best.  Yet the conduct of the Estonian Presidency is reinforcing just how forward looking and innovative the most northerly of the Baltic States has become.
Estonia is a country that wants to live in the future, and with its openness and innovation, that future seems a lot closer than almost anywhere else in Europe
It is not that Estonia does not “do” the past: the picturesque cobbled streets of old Tallinn have tourist crowds a-plenty enjoying the mediaeval architecture in an Indian summer of sunshine and blue skies.  The real point is that Estonia refuses to be a prisoner of its past. Lennart Meri, Estonia’s President in the 1990s- who spent years of his childhood in Siberia- once told me that the country had to conc…

The American National nightmare becomes a global nightmare

It is a basic contention of this blog that Donald J Trump is not fit for office.

A crooked real estate developer with a dubious past and highly questionable finances. he has systematically lied his way into financial or other advantage. His personal qualities include vulgarity, sexual assault allegations and fraudulent statements on almost every subject. 

He lost the popular vote by nearly three million votes.

He has, of course, been under criminal investigation practically since before he took the oath of office. The indictment of some of closest advisers is just the beginning. His track record suggests that in due course there is no action he will not take, whether illegal or unconstitutional in order to derail his own inevitable impeachment and the indictments that must surely follow the successful investigation of Robert Mueller into his connections with Russia.

However, all of that is a matter for the American people. 

It is also a matter for the American people that Trump is cheating…

In praise of off-shore tax havens

The last few years has seen a spate of "scandals" about the use of off-shore tax havens. The hacking and subsequent leaking of data about who does and does not hold assets in off-shore jurisdictions has become an old perennial in the British press, rather like the "COLD weather happens in winter and QUITE HOT weather happens in summer", whose alarmist capital letter laced headlines are such a lazy part of contemporary "journalism". 

The increasing sophistication of the hackers, whether Russian-inspired or not, has resulted in a steady trickle of information becoming a torrent. After the relatively filleted release of data in the so-called "Panama Papers", the data release of the "Paradise Papers" is even larger.  Of course, just natural curiosity dictates that the off-shore ownership, or even just "ownership", of assets is of general public interest.  Celebrities, from the Royal family to the cast of Mrs Brown's Boys, are …